Undistracted

“Sanballat and Geshem sent this message: ‘Come and meet with us at Kephirim in the valley of Ono.’  I knew they were scheming to hurt me so I sent messengers back with this: ‘I’m doing a great work; I can’t come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you?’ ”
Nehemiah 6:2-3 (MSG)

Why should the work stop just so I can get distracted?

*Typing away… W-h-y… s-h-o-u-l-d… t-h-e… w-o-r-k… s-t-o…*

Hmm – wonder if there’s anything I need to know about in the ol’ email?

Nope. Nada.

*W-h-y… s-h-o-u-l-d… t-h-e… w-o-r-k… s-t-o…*

Oh – I haven’t Tweeted that I’m working. Better keep that social media flood alive and well, lest my efforts in building a “tribe” and a “following” all collapse and I have to start building my media empire all over again.

*W-h-y… s-h-o-u-l-d… t-h-e… w-o-r-k… s-t-o…*

Wonder if anybody Liked that picture of the pickle relish we were canning last night? I think I’ll check. After all, that status isn’t going to update itself.

What’s this?

FUNNY DOG VIDEO!!!

– time passes… and passes… and passes… –

*W-h-y… s-h-o-u-l-d… t-h-e… w-o-r-k… s-t-o…*

Technically, crochet is one of the things I do, right? Part of the whole “Jack of a FEW Trades” gig, right? So it counts, right?

*W-h-y… s-h-o-u-l-d… t-h-e… w-o-r-k… s-t-o…*

So is paracord braiding, for that matter. Or wire wrapping jewelry. Or messing around with music, right?

*W-h-y… s-h-o-u-l-d… t-h-e… w-o-r-k… s-t-o…*

Maybe somebody needs to narrow down the ol’ job description… And by somebody, of course, I mean ME.

*W-h-y… s-h-o-u-l-d… t-h-e… w-o-r-k… s-t-o…*

YouTube is NOT in the job description, however – even when supposedly doing “research” on the aforementioned crochet, paracord, wire jewelry, or music.

But it IS entertaining. And hey, everybody needs a brain break, right?

Right?

*W-h-y… s-h-o-u-l-d… t-h-e… w-o-r-k… s-t-o…*

Sigh…

You may wonder, are these scenarios from collected experiences, gathered over time from my struggles as a self-employed but under-motivated humanperson, one with all the drive and self-discipline of oh, a rutabaga?

(No – come to think of it, a rutabaga has the discipline to get its head up out of the dirt eventually. Me? More like “happy as a clam buried in the sand.”

Without most of the happy, for the record.)

Anyway, the truth is that all of these aforementioned scenarios were gathered from one writing session. THIS writing session.

Yeah.

My focus, concentration, and attention span are pretty much a piñata. Hanging from a 50 foot tree. In a gale-force wind. And I’m down below, blindfolded, with a broken yardstick.

Whee.

Hang on a minute – let me finish that row of half-double crochet edging, then we’ll carry on.

*insert famous “waiting” music from well-known and much watched (by the elder Niecelet) quiz show where the answer must ALWAYS be in the form of a question…*

There. Didn’t even split the yarn OR drop a stitch. Yay me.

What was I saying?

*W-h-y… s-h-o-u-l-d… t-h-e… w-o-r-k… s-t-o…*

Oh. That.

“The wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul. It had taken fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard the news and all the surrounding nations saw it, our enemies totally lost their nerve. They knew that God was behind this work.”
Nehemiah 6:15-16 (MSG)

Fifty-two days.

Fifty-two. That’s a five and a two. Together.

Wow.

Evidently, undistracted work is productive work. Who knew?

Did I say “undistracted?” That’s not really accurate, is it? If you read the whole story, you see that the work was hardly “undistracted.” Working with one hand, holding a weapon in the other doesn’t really qualify as “working without distraction.” Not even close.

And yet, with the efforts of priests, goldsmiths, and all sorts of people, working and defending their families all at the same time, the wall was completed.

In fifty-two days.

*insert sound of various and sundry excuses for not writing, not posting to the blog, and not working on the book being flushed down the biffy with extreme prejudice*

Maybe the key, if there is one, is the what their enemies realized when the work was completed:

“When all our enemies heard the news and all the surrounding nations saw it, our enemies totally lost their nerve. They knew that God was behind this work.”
Nehemiah 6:16 (MSG)

They knew that God was behind this work.

Now, I may believe that God wants me to write. I may acknowledge that it doesn’t really matter if anyone else reads these words, because He’s the one who compels me to work through things with writing. And though I really try not to pay attention to how many (if any) read, comment, or “like” my ramblings, it really is true that the words are His, to do with as He wants, and to put them where He wants them to go.

-But-

Do I believe, do I acknowledge, do I KNOW that God is behind this work?

And if I do, if I really go “all in” and believe that He is doing a great work through my efforts at this keyboard, with these words and thoughts…

Then how can I let little things like email, tweets, status updates, or even funny dog videos take me away from this great work?

Perhaps I don’t believe, I don’t acknowledge, and I don’t really KNOW that God is behind it. Or can’t bring myself to believe that He would do a great work through a rutabaga like me.

So, maybe it’s time to believe, to acknowledge, and to KNOW that God is at work. Right here, right now…

Through a rutabaga like me.

Or a rutabaga like you.

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